Tunde Olanrewaju, Abeokuta
In an apparent move to prove critics wrong that it is not a rubber-stamp legislature, the Ogun State House of Assembly on Tuesday summoned six commissioners to give account of previous financial dealings in their ministries before a fresh request for N19 billion loan is granted the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The Accountant General is expected to join Commissioners for Finance, Works & Infrastructure, Agriculture, Education, Housing and Environment in what observers believe could be a tough question and answer time on the floor of OGHA on Wednesday, the date fixed for their appearance before the legislators.
Tongues have been wagging over the seeming inability of the OGHA to clarify issues surrounding the controversy generated over the actual amount of debt the Ogun State Government is owing. Matters are not being helped by the fact that the lawmakers are evenly divided (13:13) into anti- and pro-Amosun.
OGHA Speaker, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, directed during a plenary session on Tuesday that the affected government functionaries should appear before the Committee of the whole House to present documents detailing all previous loan requests, approvals, dates and purposes, as related to their individual ministries.
A reliable OGHA source disclosed that the Director-General of the newly established Debt Management Office has also been summoned to furnish the lawmakers with comprehensive information about Ogun State’s indebtedness. The source said the debt exposure details is expected to include all bank loans with interest rates and repayment schedule.
Additional information expected to be provided by the Commissioner for Finance include details of allocations obtained from the Federation Account within the past 12 months as well as the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) within the same period.
It was further gathered that the state commissioner for Works will be providing the House with lists of all road projects with costs, payment to date as well as outstanding payments, while his counterpart in the education ministry will be providing the lawmakers with payments and debts till date over the on-going Model School projects.
The source further said that the State Accountant General will be briefing the lawmakers with details of receipts from the Federation Account as well as IGR/Value Added Tax (VAT) and payments to local governments from May 29, 2011 till date.
The source explained that the documents being sought are meant to guide the lawmakers in their consideration of the N19 billion loan request by the state government.